What went wrong again, NPP? (Part I)

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The NPP’s “Concert Party” show is providing enough humour to entertain us; but it is based on one very ugly and damning foundation that must be condemned by all peace-loving Ghanaians.

The NPP leaders’ constant disparaging of the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, is reprehensible. Behaving as if they have chosen him for a special vengeance, they have subjected him to all forms of verbal abuse, curses, and vain threats ever since it became clear that their Akufo-Addo and many NPP Parliamentary candidates had lost Election 2012.

Instead of seeing themselves as the cause of their candidates’ electoral woes, they have metamorphosed into adrenaline-filled matadors, roaming the political landscape, seeking whomever to destroy. In their characteristic “mate me ho” element, they have isolated the Electoral Commissioner to gore out of existence. It is disgraceful for them to behave this way, and I unreservedly condemn them.

For all they may care to know, Afari Gyan has selflessly served the country in his role and will bow out a proud and successful public servant. He reminds me of the late Isaac Abban (Electoral Commissioner in the late 1970s), who stood his grounds against the late Acheampong’s attempt to manipulate the results of the referendum on his Union Government proposal.

Justice Abban swiftly vamoosed and sought refuge from Acheampong’s rampaging agents. But he insisted that the results showed that Ghanaians had overwhelmingly rejected Unigov. It didn’t take long for Acheampong himself to end miserably.

Afari Gyan has not had that bitter experience, even though conditions existed at one time or the other for unscrupulous people to threaten him because their parties or candidates lost the elections. The fact that he has been in office since 1992 to help us vote in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility is commendable.

He deserves better than the crude behaviour by these NPP functionaries who mistook appearance for being only to be rejected by the electorate. They still cannot humble themselves to soberly reflect on the inadequacies that caused their defeat; nor will they be politically astute enough to do a proper appraisal of the Ghanaian electorate in preparation for Election 2016. Instead, they see their defeat as an act of mischief and are venting their spleen on Afari Gyan.

Why are they tormenting his life? It is simply because they don’t have the capacity to play the game fairly and accept the results in the end. As mere fiery, fast-talking, conservative “democrats,” they should have known better not to deepen their woes by resorting to this kind of waywardness. But they will not do otherwise because sportsmanship is not their forte. Even, going to the Supreme Court to seek redress is a ding-dong battle that they are fighting among themselves.

It is not strange for losers of any game of chance to find fault, especially in considering the circumstances leading to their defeat. Often, they blame the match officials for being biased against them. Hardly do they see their own failures or self-created problems as the cause of their defeat. So is it with the NPP as it continues to drag Afari Gyan in the mud as the cause of their woes.

To me, the NPP leaders’ rush to point accusing fingers at Afari Gyan raises very serious questions that defy answers at this stage in our assessment of Election 2012.

Why do these NPP functionaries think that Afari Gyan would collude with President Mahama, the NDC, and the media to rig the elections in favour of President Mahama? What did Afari Gyan stand to gain by helping President Mahama win the elections? What about the NPP made it repugnant to him? What about Akufo-Addo repelled Afari Gyan that much as to warrant his condoning and conniving with the NDC administration to deny him the Presidency?

The overarching question, after all, is: Having superintended over five general elections since his appointment in 1992 by the Rawlings administration, what did Afari Gyan stand to gain from rigging the sixth one prior to his retirement? Or should we say that he wanted to end his career on a bad note and, therefore, encouraged malpractices to win the day for President Mahama? Personally, what would be his motivation for anything of the sort?

I am glad that the NPP and its allies (the PPP, NDP, etc.) that are leading the spate of verbal attacks and issuing of threats against Afari Gyan haven’t so far told us that he was bought by the government to skew the elections in its favour. I have heard some NPP followers say that he was bribed with 35 million Cedis to rig the elections; but that allegation is not worth my bother because it has no basis in anything verifiable. It is just a dangerous rumour being circulated as part of the grand agenda of destroying Afari-Gyan’s reputation.

As the vilification intensifies, I am worried that the NPP is setting a very bad precedent. Instead of attacking Afari Gyan this way, the NPP should just have done the right thing by proceeding to court to challenge the outcome of the elections, which was exactly what Afari Gyan had told them when they first bared their teeth at him. Going to court would not warrant any personal attacks on him; but the NPP is dilly-dallying for reasons best known to it.

On top of that, its leaders are levelling accusations against Afari Gyan, one of which is that he is manouevring to hold secret meetings with the NPP’s polling agents with the view to influencing them so that they don’t reveal any malpractice that might have come to their notice at the polling stations. Even though the Electoral Commissioner has come out openly to deny any such manouevre, the NPP leaders are still adamant that the EC is attempting to corrupt the party’s agents and, thereby, erase evidence being assembled for the court case.

Another allegation is that the EC is erasing the data on the biometric verification machines and resetting everything to zero, wiping off evidence that the NPP considers vital to its intended court case. The EC has denied that allegation too, but the NPP leaders are unfazed in their campaign of character assassination and the issuing of vain threats against Afari Gyan.

That is the nature of such characters who regard the Presidency as an entitlement and don’t have the capacity to tolerate anything to the contrary. What has happened to them must definitely be blamed on Afari Gyan, which is why they are unrelenting in attacking him. Are these the democrats to be proud of?

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.